Posts tagged ‘Office of Physical Plant’

The Penn Stater Daily — Feb. 11, 2014

The voice:  In a feature from today’s Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, he’s called “the university’s most distinguished living ambassador.” Fran Fisher, longtime football radio announcer, talked to the Trib‘s Chris Adamski about his decades-spanning career — and his friendships with some notable former coaches.

Common wisdom: Rapper Common paid a visit to Eisenhower Auditorium last night as part of the Student Programming Association‘s Distinguished Speaker series. The rapper turned actor (he stars in the AMC series Hell on Wheels) talked about his career, his “journey to greatness,” and offered some empowering advice: ““The higher you climb in achieving greatness, the harder it is going to become. You must take a moment and appreciate how far you have climbed.”

Snow spending: No, it’s not your imagination — this winter has been especially brutal, and Penn State’s Office of Physical Plant has the numbers to prove it. In this piece from Monday’s Collegian, OPP’s Ryan McCaughey reveals that snow removal efforts around campus have cost the University a staggering $1 million this season — that’s $400,000 over budget. And as for that road salt that helps melt snow and ice on campus walkways: OPP has used 300 tons (yes, tons) of the stuff so far this year.

Mary Murphy, associate editor

February 11, 2014 at 12:28 pm Leave a comment

Another Duck Tale

Momma Duck waiting while the Physical Plant staff rescue her 11 ducklings.

Momma Duck waits—and squawks—while the Physical Plant staff rescue her 11 ducklings on the east end of campus. Click to see bigger version.

It’s that time of year.

From Deborah Blythe in Penn State’s Office of Physical Plant comes this story and photo from an incident on campus the other day, out near the “home management houses” along College Avenue:

Momma Duck and her 11 ducklings were walking along and came to a storm drain in front of Benedict House. Momma Duck walked across the grate and all 11 of her babies fell into the storm drain. Momma yelled for help and called and flapped. Some of our OPP employees came to the rescue immediately. The drain was pulled up and a brave employee crawled down into the drain and, along with lots of helpful employees, rescued the ducklings and returned them to their mommy duck.

My question is, What was the mother duck thinking, leading her kids across a storm-drain grate? But I’m glad the story had a happy ending.

Tina Hay, editor

May 12, 2009 at 5:11 pm Leave a comment

Lake Perez is Now ‘Pond Perez’

DSC_7704 sm Pond Perez

Under ordinary circumstances, almost all of this grass would actually be under water.

In my two visits to Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center this past week, I heard people speak half-jokingly of “Pond Perez.” It turns out that the former Stone Valley Lake, renamed Lake Perez some years back, had to be drawn down in the spring of last year because of problems with the dam. A year later, the needed repairs have yet to be made, and so Lake Perez is little more than a pond these days.

I got the sense that the Shaver’s Creek staff are worried about how much longer the lake will be allowed to remain in its current state. Already, invasive plants like Japanese stilt grass are starting to take hold on the dry lake bed, crowding out other, native plants and making the habitat less hospitable to certain birds and other wildlife. There are extremely aggressive trees, like Norway Maple and Tree of Heaven, that can move in quickly and, once established, be very hard to get rid of. People at Penn State, in the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and elsewhere work hard to manage invasive species, and, as one person at Shaver’s Creek put it, “this doesn’t help.”

And, of course, those who use the lake for canoeing and fishing are out of luck for a second straight summer—if not longer. There’s talk that it might be five years before the dam is repaired, and a lot of havoc can get wreaked on the ecosystem in that amount of time.

I checked with someone in Penn State’s Office of Physical Physical Plant to get the official word. He said that the University is developing plans for how best to fix the dam and looking for funding to do the repairs, which could be extremely expensive. There is no official timetable for the job yet.

Tina Hay, editor

May 12, 2009 at 2:52 pm 1 comment


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